By Ros Satar

  • Frances Tiafoe [3] v Dan Evans [Q]
  • H2H: Evans leads 1-0
DELRAY BEACH, USA – Dan Evans has come through qualifying, earning a match up against Australian Open semi-finalist and defending Delray champion Frances Tiafoe.

 

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Frances Tiafoe [3] v Dan Evans [Q] | H2H: Evans leads 1-0

Frances Tiafoe, Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati 2017

Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock
Frances Tiafoe, Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati 2017

A lot has happened for both these players since Dan Evans beat Frances Tiafoe back in the Knoxville Challenger in 2015. Evans threw away a career high and his best year on the tour after he was suspended for having tested positive for cocaine, and his comeback was initially at the generous behest of the LTA with qualifying wildcards into Challengers leading into the start of the grass court season last year.

Since then he has worked his way back up, and acquitted himself well at the Australian Open, coming through qualifying and finally giving Roger Federer a test in the second round. But the Australian Open proved to be a proving ground for Frances Tiafoe.

READ MORE | Tennis | Australian Open 2019 | Evans finds path out of a ‘bad place’ after drugs ban as he and Boulter bow out in second round

In a run almost reminiscent of Kyle Edmund last year, he beat Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov on the way to a semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal. He won hearts and minds to establish himself as a firm fan favourite, and on home soil, will certainly have the crowd on his side.

However that can sometimes be just be the kind of environment that spurs Evans on. He plays an aggressive game, and moves very well and while he might not play the most attacking tennis, he generally has a lot of variety to his game and can mix things up.

Tiafoe will certainly match Evans’ aggressive game and probably has a little more height and power over the Brit with a solid serve – in fact he credited the improvements to his serve last year to helping him to the title.

If Evans is on, he can certainly steal a march on Tiafoe, but the American probably wants to get a better start than he did in New York – his first tournament after the Australian Open, while Evans made the final of the Quimper Challenger, and might come in just a little more match sharp than Tiafoe might like.

Prediction: Tiafoe in three sets.

Evans and Tiafoe are scheduled on Stadium court not before 6pm (11pm GMT).

 

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